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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) were rising 5.13% to $26.21 on heavy trading volume Thursday afternoon as a Chinese battery maker is in advanced discussions to acquire a stake in the company, sources say, Reuters reports.

China's Ningbo Shanshan, which manufactures lithium battery materials, is one of the world's largest lithium producers.

The talks highlight increased interest in the renewable battery ingredient, the price of which has been jumping on optimism of an electric vehicle surge, Reuters noted.

Additionally, SQM posted solid results for the 2016 second quarter earlier today. The Chilean company reported earnings of 32 cents per share, topping analysts' estimates of 27 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter was $489.6 million, above Wall Street's expectations of $443.2 million.

"During the first half of 2016 we saw higher volumes of potassium chloride, iodine, lithium and specialty plant nutrients. These higher sales volumes were in line with our expectations as were the market trends in general," CEO Patricio de Solminihac said in a statement.

SQM is a producer and distributor of specialty plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals.

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About 1.66 million of the company's shares changed hands so far today vs. its average 30-day volume of 423,157 shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C on the stock.

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins.

But the team also finds weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SQM

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